Criticized by Activists, Professor Gives Grant From Monsanto to Food Pantry

A University of Florida professor who accepted a $25,000 grant from the agriculture giant Monsanto will give the money to a campus food pantry after he was criticized by activists who oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The Gainesville Sun reports that Kevin Folta, chairman of the university’s horticultural-sciences department, tried to give the money back but Monsanto wouldn’t take it. Calling the pressure he’s felt from anti-GMO activists “terrorism,” Mr. Folta said he didn’t want them to have an excuse to say he was beholden to Monsanto. Mr. Folta received the unrestricted grant to fund a biotech-communications project.

Kevin Folta, the University of Florida plant professor whose emails were targeted by an anti-GMO activist group, wishes he could give back the $25,000 grant he received from Monsanto. But he said the biotech and seed company has no mechanism for accepting the money, so the grant will be put to other uses — feeding University of Florida’s food-insecure students and staff.

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Academics Who Criticize War on Terror Are ‘Lawful Targets,’ West Point Professor Says

Legal scholars who criticize U.S. tactics against terrorists are committing treasonous acts in support of an enemy, and they and the law schools that employ them should be regarded as “lawful targets” for military attacks, a law professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point argued in an article published recently by a student-edited law journal.

The article, “Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict / Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column,” appeared in the Spring/Summer …


Indian Scholar Who Criticized Idolatry Is Killed by Gunmen in His Home

Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, an Indian scholar whose criticism of idol worship had angered religious groups, was fatally shot on Sunday by two gunmen who entered his home, opened fire, and fled on a motorcycle, according to reports by The New York Times and the Indian news organization Firstpost.

The motive behind the killing was unknown, according to Ravindra Prasad, the police commissioner in Dharwad, a town in the state of Karnataka, in southwestern India.

Firstpost described Dharwad as …


U. of Texas Moves Confederate Statue After Court Rejects Opponents’ Petition

[Updated and revised (8/30/2015, 8:46 p.m.) after the statue's removal.]

A statue of Jefferson Davis, who was president of the Confederate states during the Civil War, was removed from a controversially prominent position on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on Sunday morning, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The move came after a Texas appeals court on Friday declined a request from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to block a lower court’s ruling that allowed the universit…


U. of Illinois Football Coach Is Fired Over Allegations He Mistreated Players

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s head football coach has been fired after an investigation found he encouraged injured players to stay in the game. According to a statement issued by the university, external reviewers found Tim Beckman had made “efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries.”

“The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does no…


2 Resign at Portland State Over $100-Million Donation That Never Was

Two top fund raisers at Portland State University have resigned after a public-relations catastrophe surrounding a $100-million donation that never materialized. The Oregonian reports the president and chief executive officer of the PSU Foundation, Françoise Aylmer, and another fund raiser, Kristin Coppola, announced on Friday they would step down.

Last week university officials planned to hold a news conference announcing a $100-million gift from an unnamed former student. They called it off, h…


U. of Illinois Will Start Broadcasting Football Games in Chinese

Saying it has “more Chinese students than any other college,” the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is starting a Chinese-language broadcast of its football games, The News-Gazette reports.

“We’re hoping that this program is really going to help us engage with our Chinese students on campus, and also our alumni across the United States and abroad,” the athletic department’s assistant director of marketing, Karl Feak, told the newspaper.

The university has more than 4,500 students from China. Its total undergraduate and graduate-student population was just over 45,000 as of last fall.

According to The News-Gazette, the audio broadcasts will be more focused on explaining strategy for listeners who are not well versed in American football.

Growing up in his native China, Bruce Lu became a “huge fan” of North American sports.

The University of Illinois junior started watching NBA games 10 years ago and American football during high school.

Now he will co-anchor a new Chinese-language broadcast of Illini football games, thought to be the first of its kind in the country. The broadcasts will be available free through the website and its new mobile app.

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Legal Fight Over U. of Kansas Lecturer’s Records Is Settled

A legal dispute over a University of Kansas student’s effort to obtain the records of a lecturer who previously worked for the conservative Koch brothers has been settled, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

The lecturer, Arthur Hall, is director for the university’s Center for Applied Economics. He had previously served as chief economist of the public-sector group of Koch Industries Inc. Schuyler Kraus, who is president of a campus group called Students for a Sustainable Future, had submitt…


Faculty Union at Berklee Erred in Refusing to Bargain Over Effects of Policy, NLRB Says

The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed a faculty union’s complaint of unfair labor practices against the Berklee College of Music, holding that the union was responsible for its failure to bargain over the effects of a class-cancellation policy that it had said was established without its input.

Berklee, a private, undergraduate college in Boston, was contractually obligated to bargain with its faculty union only over the effects of the cancellation policy — not over the language of …


Less Than Half of Major Social-Science Studies Are Reproducible, Analysis Says

A study has found that fewer than half of 100 major studies in the social sciences could be replicated to produce similar results, The New York Times reports. Published in Science, the analysis was conducted by a team of researchers led by Brian Nosek, a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

The team sought to reproduce 100 studies published in 2008, but in more than 60 cases, the results came out different. That’s not a result of fraud, the researchers say, but an indication that the evid…